Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1

Sleep Deprivation? Is it real? Is it true? Is it important?

Yes, it is real, it is true and it is very important. As moms, most of us have been sleep deprived at one time or another.... like when a new baby arrives and needs to eat every 3 hours.... or during times of stress to finish a project or a job.... or during an emergency... or other times. After the crisis is over, we tend to sleep to "catch up" on the sleep we lost.... and life goes on.


College kids sometimes feel like they thrive on being sleep deprived, and pulling all nighters gives certain "bragging rights" and seems to demonstrate invincibility.  There's a certain admiration that can come from waiting till the last minute and then staying up all night long.... to "study".  We all know that sometimes it's not all study and sometimes the "need" to stay up is only because of procrastination..... but we are young in college and we can handle it..... extra caffeine in the form of coffee or soda can help make it through the night... and the next day.

A new baby in the house leaves parents perpetually tired.... and a toddler in the house can leave a parent ... perpetually tired.... and teens in the house can leave a parent perpetually tired..... and after a while that tiredness feels normal.... and we become used to tiredness... to being sleep deprived. It is hard, but sometimes we take a nap, get some extra sleep... and continue on and it is no big deal, right?

After all, we expect to be tired...we have busy lives and our children need us and it is good to work hard... for the Lord, right? Hmmm....

God does say things about sleep... and He gives His beloved sleep...

Our human nature can be so prideful... we can be so out of balance. Work is a good thing, caring for our family is a good thing, working hard is a good thing... sleep is also a good thing, and it is necessary.



As I have shared before, I have adrenal fatigue issues and have to be careful....  and I have been learning just how important sleep is... and one of the frustrating problems with adrenal fatigue/exhaustion is that though the body desperately NEEDS sleep, sleep is hard to come by. The body can become UNABLE to sleep well.  We do pay a price eventually.

There can also be long term consequences to sleep deprivation... things that don't go away after a few early nights or naps.

As a young woman in college, I did the study hard, lose sleep thing... pulling all nighters at times. Since vacation times were short and making the time at home last longer (12 hours away)... we travelled at night many times. I juggled study and work and pushed myself. One summer, to help pay my college tuition, I worked 2 jobs back to back.... 8 hours each, so 16 hours straight... and sometimes more than 5 days a week. On the night job, an old gruff security officer stopped in each night and chastised me... saying, "You're going to hurt your health." Well, I was young and foolish and feeling invincible...and I continued on. I felt I had to ... to pay the bills.

After college, my parents had moved and were then 21 hours away, SO I drove to see them once or twice a year. Since I was still paying college bills... and was frugal, I drove straight through to avoid hotel costs. Like I said... the foolishness of youth.

After I got married and we had children, there were those responsibilities to make me tired, but I did well with it...  and continued on.  Our second son was born with severe medical problems and needed LOTS of care... all of the time... and I had a toddler at the time also....  and I started to learn what exhaustion was.... that exhaustion went on for years... we could not leave son #2 with a babysitter... only a registered nurse trained in trach care could watch him and that wasn't available, so we did what we had to do.... and so on. Do I regret that? NO NO NO... what a blessing all of my children are... and my husband... I am blessed. I do regret; however, not putting a bit more emphasis on my health- especially my sleep, over the years.

After a while, the constant sleep interrruptions became so normal... and my husband's job schedule changed a few times, so that my body never could settle into a good pattern for sleeping. When I woke  in the night, I learned not to lay in bed for hours watching the clock, but instead I would get up, have time with the Lord, write, do lesson plans, make a list, etc. It was easier to just start the day, than to work so hard to sleep more - especially when there was a sick child or Son #2's alarms would go off frequently in the night. My body ended up never really sleeping deeply. I worried that I was getting Alzheimer's or something since I couldn't remember words... I couldn't even think how to say "refrigerator" one time... and had to take my husband to the kitchen and point out the thing I was talking about. That was scary... but it wasn't Alzheimer's... it was sleep deprivation. After more concentrated rest, that was gone.

Did you know that some of the consequences of sleep deprivation can be:

-reduced alertness
-impaired memory and cognitive thinking
-higher risk of injuries
-higher risk of car accidents
-genetic changes affecting the body- including heart problems and obesity
-osteoporosis
-diabetes
-obesity
-brain deterioration
-stroke
-stresses on relationships
-much more....


They say that driving while sleep deprived can make you just as dangerous as a person driving drunk. That is scary.... response time slows down, nodding off happens, and more.

Maybe you think that you are not sleep deprived... and maybe you are not.... I hope that is true. However, it is good to do a little research and also evaluate your life. They say that while losing sleep for one night won't seriously hurt you... losing sleep for a week of nights CAN be a bigger problem....after just 7 days or so.

Maybe you are just a little sleepy sometimes during the day... or a bit grouchy... maybe forgetful.... or extra hungry.... or sluggish... or other things... they can ALL be symptoms of sleep deprivation... and that CAN hurt you.


I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert on this subject... I am just someone who has studied it and is trying to recover from effects of ignoring it. This is a "heads up" post.... maybe you can see that you are not at your best and that you have shorted your sleep. Whether it seems to bother you or not... it is a dangerous path to take and I encourage you to think about it.  There is a lot of information on the subject.... and I will be addressing more in the 2nd post of this series. I hope you will return and see if it can be of any use to you.

Thank you for joining me.  I hope that now you are able to answer the question.... Are You Sleep Deprived?

   Part 2 of the series is here..... Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived, So What?





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#sleepdeprivation    #sleep    #healthproblems   #sleepy  #nap  #tired 

28 comments:

  1. Hi Good article. I understand what you are talking about I have experience this for a long time in my life. A few years back my adrenal glands were barely functioning. I am now better but still battle with sleep due to many other health issues. Sleep is so important and I don't think most people realize it until they are deprived of sleep. Visiting from Home Acre Blog hop. Sharing on google, pinterest & twitter.

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    1. Thank you.... I hope your recovery continues steadily... it is so difficult to recover from this.... I am so glad you visited today and thank you for sharing on social media. :)

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  2. I really make an effort to get enough sleep because of all the reasons you listed below! Sleep is critical to daily functioning.

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    1. Good.... glad you make that a priority.... so many of us haven't and are paying the price. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  3. Love this article. I work really hard to get at least the 6 hours my body requires for sleep during the week. I also take power naps whenever possible. And Saturdays are my sleep in days. It's the only way I can thrive as a working and homeschooling parent - sleep is a must do :-D

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    1. Good for you... you sound like you are making this a priority.... and I agree that sleep is a must and helps us to thrive. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  4. Sleep is definitely a must! As a mommy to 5, I am often tired and it has somewhat become the norm, but I am learning to nap when I need to and to ask my husband for help. I'm glad I found you on the Fellowship Friday link-up. I recently wrote a post about my sleep deprivation, I would love for you to check it out. http://rahabtoriches.com/sleep-deprived-mommy/

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    1. Good for you..... yes, I will also read your article. :) Glad you are working on this... it can become so big that the consequences also increase... good to catch it early. :)

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  5. I don't think I'm sleep deprived right now, but I do remember those days! I truly believe I need 9 hours of sleep a night and I definitely don't get that much. My poor hubby gets only 5 hours a lot of nights and believes that's why he can't lose weight right now. I agree with him. Stopping by from the Saturday Soiree. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Yes, 5 hours a night could certainly lead to not being able to lose weight.... God has made our bodies in such a marvellous way and all the parts work together. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  6. Great article! I recently divorced from a 39 abusive marriage. My 3 adult children that are still at home and I have so many sleep issues and we are ALL sleep deprived. The stress, PTSD, depression, etc. all have a hand in this. None of us have "normal" sleep schedules. We sleep when we can. We are all on a lot of medication for all the health issues that come along with all of our medical and mental issues. Prescribed sleep meds don't even help anymore. My youngest (22) goes for 2-3 days without sleep, then crashes and sleeps for 2 days. It's starting to affect his heart. There is always someone awake in the house. Needless to say we have a multitude of doctor appointments...there is usually a wait. I use this time to take naps! I really don't care if I snore or make a fool out of myself at this point, I need those power naps to function (loosely). As soon as we get in the car my youngest falls asleep. Most of our Drs. are an hour away, so he gets in naps too. My middle son (27) has horrid nightmares that wake him up in panic attacks, so I feel he is afraid to sleep. My daughter (36) tries so hard then beats herself up because she can't sleep which just feeds the issue. They are all on SSI. This was not the future I had dreamt for them. I still dream of a day my ex will move on (it's been 2 years since the divorce) and leave us alone so we can properly heal. He comes off parole in April and I lose my Stay Away Order, he's still playing games but I'm scared to report him to only feed his fire. Our PTSD symptoms are coming back full steam due to this. I am gong to try to get an extension on the Stay Away Order thru Criminal Court. When I applied for an extension in family court I was denied due to lack of threats...well, duh, I had a Restraining Order from Family Court and a Stay Away order thru Criminal, of course he walked the line, stepped over a few times but received no consequences.
    Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. Lac of sleep can wreck havoc on your health, as you well know. Wishing you all the best.
    *hugs*deb

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    1. I am so sorry for the pain you have gone through and are continuing in, but I am glad you are surviving. I have to ask.... do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? The reason I ask is that we all need the right foundation.... especially in a situation like yours, so if you don't know Him, I encourage you to get a Bible and read and accept Him as your Savior and grow in His grace... and He will lead you. I am not at all making light of your situation - you have a terrible situation to go through and it is so important to start with God. The downward spiral you are living in has to be horrible w/ the fears, frustrations, exhaustion, and overwhelming disappointments....I am glad you and your kids are getting a little sleep when you can and I hope that ability to sleep improves.

      Another thought comes to mind.... about forgiveness. I know, that is a very hard subject...bitterness can tie up a person's mind, emotions and more... and affect many areas of the life. With that in mind, I encourage you to forgive and ask God to show you the areas where forgiveness is needed... that is not saying that the abuse didn't happen, no it is saying that you will leave it up to God to deal with it and you won't be controlled by bitterness any longer. Satan wants to destroy all of you, but God is able to deliver you. It will be a long and difficult process and I hope things ease up for you soon, so you can all heal. God heals the broken hearted and I am praying He will heal you.

      A favorite verse of mine is: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
      Isaiah 41:10

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  7. Great post. The trouble when we are young we think we can do anything, even when advised differently and then we get older responsibilities change and we have to do everything. Thanks for sharing your heart and ideas at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings to you and your family.

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    1. That is so true.... if only we were wiser when we were young! I am hoping my children will learn from my mistakes and not have to make the same ones I did. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  8. A great post and so very true. We definitely need sleep and a time of peaceful rest. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post.

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    1. Thank you... I'm glad you stopped by. :)

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  9. What a wonderful, informative article! I truly appreciate you sharing this information with us. Your words brought back memories of my days as a college student - we really thought we were invincible back then, didn't we? :)

    Have a blessed day and thanks so s much for sharing at Roses of Inspiration! I hope you join us again next week.

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    1. Yes, we did... so young and not so smart! :) Thank you for visiting.... and for the link up party. :)

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  10. What a great post! Thank you for linking-up with us at the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday Link Party.

    Wishing you an awesome week!

    xx
    Lysa
    Co-Host OMHGWW

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    1. Thank you.... and thank you for the blog link up party. :)

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  11. I've struggled with sleeping problems since I was a child (I'm almost 28 now). Insomnia is something I deal with regularly, weeks where I can't sleep, then weeks when I can't sleep enough. On top of that my husband works second shift and I have farm chores at certain times. For the last few months I've just been getting 3 to 4 hour segments of sleep at random times. I feel so exhausted sometimes I just want to sit and cry, and I have also forgotten words and names of things. I'm working on a sleep schedule now, but it's extremely difficult. But, the goal for 2015 is to be healthier and that includes sleep! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm so sorry.... it is hard... and changing schedules affects things too. I am so glad you are working on it... you sure don't want it to get to adrenal fatigue or some other big deal. I will be doing a part 2 and maybe part 3 on this series and I will try to address more things that MAY help. I am glad you visited and I look forward to hearing from you again. May God give you sweet rest. :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing this! As I hit my forties, I wonder what is age and what is other things as I don't have the energy I used to have. I am working on my health and I appreciate articles like this! Awareness is an excellent tool in the homemakers tool belt. Thanks for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Joy~

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    1. I know what you mean.... age sort of sneaks up on us and things are harder than before. I am working on my health and I am convinced that we can make good changes which will have great results, BUT it does take effort... and the sooner we start, the better. :) I know I dislike having low energy... and I do NOT want my "energy" to come in the form of caffeine or other sources of fake energy. I have seen God reverse some health issues... and it inspires me to keep at it. :)

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  13. um wow. I am very MUCH sleep deprived. I am that classic college/working student !!! EEPS!

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    1. What a blessing to recognize that NOW!!!!! When you can make some good changes and avoid the big consequnces on your health. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  14. I can't say that I'm sleep deprived anymore, but I certainly have been in the past! I've decided to feature your post this week. Thanks for your submission to the HomeAcre hop. Feel free to come back to www.PintSizeFarm.com or one of the other hosts and submit another this week :)

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    1. It is something that seems to affect most of us at one time or another. Thank you for featuring this... what a blessing. :)

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